Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I have just completed the book Darknet: Hollywood's War against the Digital Generation. It is a study how Hollywood and by this the author means the entertainment/culture industry that controls a lot of what we hear, read, listen and watch. It encompasses both music and movies. He examines how Hollywood has reacted to the digital culture that is now the reality of our age.

With the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and almost yearly changes to copyright, the vast majority of people in the US and Canada can now be considered criminals. If you download, sample or watch anything over any P2P network or Bit Torrent, you are now a criminal. In a recent TWITS broadcast (#27), John D. Dvorak mentioned that all this copyright is part of the sovietization of American culture, by that he meant the laws are so draconian it makes anyone a criminal. Therefore the state had the right at any time to arrest anyone, since they were probably criminals anyway. This explains the RIAA's action of lawsuit. They figure since most people are doing it anyway, no matter who they snare, they are guilty of priacy.

what is amazing is how black and white Big Entertain is towards the digital culture, they believe it is the tool of present and future piracy and are bent on using everything in their power to stop it. Even if it means crippling present technology and kneecapping future technology.

The title "Darknet" refers to the underground of the Internet where copying takes place and is the ulitmate source of all things culture. They operate because they can and Hollywood is unable to stop it.

The author describes some of the people who are using the digital culture to enhance their work and life and for the most part what they are doing is considered illegal. Not that these people are going out of their way to do illegal acts, it's just the law makes them that. Normally law abiding citizens are criminals by the definition of groups such as the RIAA and the MPAA. Their spokesmen refuse to concede anything but call all such individuals as pirates.

The author, J.D. Lasica has a website with up to date information on the struggle between creativity and copyright.

One of the optimist chapters is the one I almost missed, he talked about games and how modders have been an asset to the industry. By pushing the envelope of their hardware, gamers have been able to do interesting things, plus the modding of the games and software has led to some fascinating results.

While one review commented on the fact the book is one of many, its worth reading to get you involved in saving your digital rights.

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